Dim Bulb’s quiet and contemplative story tell ’em up Where The Water Tastes Like Wine is still out there, trudging down America’s dusty depression-era roads, collecting and telling stories. Today, it has a few new ones to tell. Today’s Gold Mountain Update adds an official Chinese localisation, produced by a crew of dedicated Chinese-speaking fans led by one Ryan Zhang. More importantly for English-speakers, it adds a new set of stories to the game, focused on the lives of Chinese Americans and their alchemized folklore as they became woven into America’s fabric.
The new stories in the update are spread as far and wide as anything else in the game. As you wander, you should pick up some new tales, which can be collected and re-told as with any other. They’re not localised to any one part of America, so don’t worry about trying to beeline it to the expansion stuff. The update today also includes another round of polish on the game’s skeleton, with improved controls, better performance and some quality-of-life fixes. Of course there’s a few bug fixes in there too, but today’s patch notes are more focused on the story.
This big update comes in spite of a lot of critics (including RPS’s own Adam Smith) bouncing off the game, or at least the more traditionally ‘game-like’ parts its art, music and narrated tales are wrapped around. It was sadly not a critical or commercial hit, but it’s such a strong, singular existence that I’m glad to see its old ramblin’ bones around, and finding often-overlooked parts of the great American story to tell. An impressive feat, which still fails in comparison to the game’s overarching narrator being Sting’s fursona.
Where The Water Tastes Like Wine is currently 60% off on Steam, reduced to £6/€8/$8 until July 17th, but you might want to start off with free (and also translated) companion game Fireside Chats. It’s published by Good Shepherd Entertainment.
Disclosure: Cara Ellison, Leigh Alexander and Emily Short are names I’ve heard, but people I’ve never met. They’ve written for RPS and many other places in the past, and lent a few of their words to Where The Water Tastes Like Wine, too.